Introducing MIFF's Pay It Forward Project

Our mission at the Midwest Independent Film Festival is to support and showcase the Midwest film community, which we do through educational panels, networking and screenings all year, as well as through the upcoming Best of the Midwest Awards Gala. But, sometimes the "starving artist" thing is no joke; sometimes it's quite literal. We get that, and in our aim to support the film community, we want to make sure to help the full community, at every career stage, not just its best funded, most established or most popular members. But, as much as we'd love to simply waive ticket fees for all of our events, we're a non-profit organization with a rather compact budget ourselves so we count on ticket revenue to keep both the literal and figurative lights on.  

Which is why, starting with the Best of the Midwest Awards Gala, we'll be offering a "Pay It Forward" non-ticket donation option to our events in the 2019 season. Purchasing a "Pay It Forward" will sponsor an individual to attend who otherwise could not afford to do so, and can help talented community members benefit from networking, panel discussions, and by simply being present when perhaps they otherwise could not. And, to make sure it'll never be awkward, individual donor names will be kept confidential, as well as recipients of donated tickets. No weirdness, no shame, and certainly no bad vibes; just another pathway to bringing the full community together, in the true spirit of what it means to be a community. 

However, while individual donor names will be kept confidential, we're open to recognizing an organization interested in sponsoring a block of tickets to events throughout the year, whether at the Best of the Midwest Awards Gala, a particular First Tuesday screening event, or all year long. Just drop me an email ( and I'm more than happy to work out the details with you in a way that lines up with your goals this year, as well as your budget. Because, if you've been waiting for the right time to join the Midwest Independent Film Festival as a sponsor partner, this initiative is also now one of our easiest and most cost-effective entry-points to sponsorship, not to mention one that will go a long way in terms of boosting the collective strength of the local community. 

This is but one of the new, expanded projects we plan to launch in 2019 to better serve everyone in the Midwest film community more thoughtfully and better invest our efforts in the power of collaboration. As we've been deep into preparations for the 2019 season, I've called to mind many times the widely-quoted words of Helen Keller, and kept them top of mind: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

It's in that spirit that I sincerely hope the new year is off to a wonderful start for each of you, and in which I hope we can count on your support of this new project initiative in the year ahead. 

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and creatively productive 2019!

Amy Guth
Executive Director, Midwest Independent Film Festival